Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

What happened at the Head for Points 2019 Summer Party?

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

Thank you to everyone who came to our Summer Party on Monday at Renaissance St Pancras.

There were over 500 people in the room at one stage – twice as many as we have ever had before – and we were understandably nervous about what that would mean in terms of logistics, although the feedback we have had so far has been very positive.

With the outdoor patio it certainly didn’t feel too crowded until we made everyone come back in for the raffle draw.  Here it was, empty, at the beginning of the night (click on any image to enlarge):

HFP party

We need to thank Marriott Bonvoy for their generous support of the event. You will have met many of the Bonvoy and Renaissance staff during registration. If you were at our last Christmas party I think you will agree that the check-in process was a lot smoother this time round.

The space was beautifully decorated with a central bar adorned with floral arrangements generously funded by Bonvoy, two of which Rob and I took home at the end of the evening.

We also had Glen Roughead, an impressive acoustic-looping musician, playing:

Head for Points summer party glen roughead

Here is a photo of Andrew, from Marriott Bonvoy, giving his short speech:

Head for Points summer party raffle

What we don’t have is a really good photo showing all 500+ of you in the same shot, which would give a proper feel for the scale of the event.  It was a lot of people.  This is probably the best one:

Head for Points summer party

Towards the end Marriott Bonvoy provided some muffins and macarons, which seemed to be flying like hot (or cold) cakes.

I struggled to get any although I did manage to grab a few macarons when a second round was brought out …. reader Alex managed to get this photo before they were all snapped up:

Head for Points summer party macaroons

Here is Rob with a member of Head for Points commenting royalty:

And Anika, with Jon from South African Airways:

We decided to have a shorter raffle for this event, as is traditional for the Summer parties, although you can expect a longer one again at Christmas.  There were four prizes to be won, generously donated by various properties in the Marriott network:

A champagne afternoon tea at Renaissance St Pancras:

A stay at The Ritz-Carlton Herzliya, Israel:

A stay at The Ritz-Carlton Budapest:

A stay at Sheraton Mallorca Arabella Golf and Spa resort:

Congratulations to all the lucky winners and we hope you enjoy your prizes.

Head for Points summer party bar

If you attended the party please check your email inbox today for a short survey. It is fewer than 10 questions long.  If you have a spare minute we would really appreciate it if you could complete it – we will read all of the comments and do our best to reflect the feedback next time.

Thank you again to everyone who came and made this event such a success, and especially to Marriott Bonvoy (Andrew, Elina, Nidhi, Lauren, Clara, Kate) and Emily and her team at the Renaissance.  See you all at Christmas.

Comments (115)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • MD says:

    One of the lucky winners here, I won the champagne afternoon tea at my first ever HFP party. Literally the first thing I’ve ever won in a raffle, I’m chronically unlucky. Really delighted! 😁

    Huge thanks to Marriott Bonvoy for their generosity, and to Rob, Rhys and Anika for putting on very enjoyable party. It was great fun to meet some fellow HFPers.

    Shame I had to run after the raffle, would have loved to hang around and meet a few below the line ‘celebs’. We made a bit of a strategic error – got away from work early so spent some time in the (gorgeous) main bar before the party. Let’s just say that by raffle time an Uber was beckoning for my beloved partner 😂

    Hopefully I can meet more of you at the Christmas party!

    • BlueThroughCrimp says:

      Had a great evening. Enjoy the afternoon tea MD!

      • MD says:

        Was great to meet you, BTC. Hope the train journey home was a smooth one!

  • Polly says:

    Yes, a real success as usual. Great central location. Hope it’s considered for the Xmas party. And ongoing…. well done, and some great catching up/networking going on…
    We 3 ladies ( as Rob said, The Coven) managed to find the tube, all on our own! Fun evening.

    • memesweeper says:

      Good to meet you and the other ladies … and hopefully not for the last time.

    • Anna says:

      The Coven, love it! Do they have F cabins on broomsticks?

    • Cat says:

      It was a great night (warts, drunken photo shoots and all)! We three must meet up for a drink around the cauldron again (possibly in thunder, lightning, or in rain, the Hillebergs should cope). It was good to meet you too Memesweeper, time always seems to fly at these things. I’d have loved another glass of airag with the royal. It was lovely to see you too Anika!

      • Cat says:

        Thanks for organising it Rob, Anika and Rhys – it was a great night, the bar looked gorgeous!

  • George says:

    Did anyone go to this event knowing literally no one? Always fancied the HFP parties but being one of the younger HFP readers (Twenties) i’m not sure how i’d quite mix.

    • Jay H says:

      Yes! Also in twenties went along knowing no one… people are friendly… you’ll soon get chatting!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Sure it’ll be fine. Pics look like there’s lots of different age groups and its one of those places where everyone should be happy to discuss points.

      To be honest with all of the midlands/northern readers maybe we could arrange meets of our own.

      Hopefully I can make xmas, I just had so much planned over the last few week(end)s I couldn’t fit in another couple days away.

      Here’s a thought Rob rather than a full blown ‘party’ what about a small gathering at a pub in other major cities for a small group 20-30 maybe just discuss the last goings on? Sure a suitable format could be developed with a little more thought.

      Could always coincide with upcoming travel for reviews of hotels/trains/lounges etc around the country

      • P says:

        How about folks in their own areas organising a get together on a named date in their city.. ie Anna in Manchester, Alan in Edinburgh, Liz in Dundee Harry in Cornwall! etc etc someone in Newcastle, just local groups. That would still be fun, as people wouldn’t mind travelling 50 miles?? To meet up. Just drinks and pub meal, keeping it simple.

        Saying that, spotted Tom1 and Graham Walsh chatting, just popped over to say hello, great chat..Tom v young, Graham, little older, and me a granny! No problems for anyone coming on their own.

        • Alan says:

          Could definitely be worth us considering! Some pubs (up here anyway) are pretty good too, if you book a room out they’ll often give you some free grub to encourage you to spend on drinks!

          • P says:

            Sounds like that could be a great pub evening, you might even get some visitors from down south joining you on an RFS!

          • pablo says:

            There’s an app called Meetup. Great for organising small scale local meets.

        • P says:

          Somehow l became P for a bit! Def Polly writing.

        • Andy_H says:

          Like the idea of informal local get-togethers….how to make it work?

          • TGLoyalty says:

            It’s easier on a forum because someone proposes a date or potential dates and once you get a few people it’s a goer.

            Meetup app seems interesting will have to look it up

        • Harry T says:

          I live in Newcastle but my OH’s family are in Edinburgh, so I don’t mind travelling up.

    • Rob says:

      Half the ticket buyers brought a friend (usually a friend, not partner) and half came alone. People just congregate in small groups and chat. You can always break the ice by saying Hi to an airline rep, as those people specifically come to hear from ‘real’ passengers.

    • Rhys says:

      You’d be surprised, George. I spoke to a bunch of younger people, including a nineteen year old!

      • CV3V says:

        Indeed, i started the points game in my early 20’s (must have been about 22) with the BMI credit card and its’ free flight voucher.

    • George says:

      I went to the last two on my own (I’m in my twenties too) and had a great time.

    • Lady London says:

      Quite a few younger ones at last
      .Christmas and this one. Lots of us who knew no one but started chatting. I really don’t think she matters or even noticed realy.

      • Lady London says:

        She above was meant to be”age”. Even in English tustexr editor is getting me now.

        • Polly says:

          First, the French, now the English editor! Fun evening all round…

  • Ken Snowdon says:

    I appreciate London is the centre of the universe (especially if you live there) but what about all your non-London readers? It’s frustrating reading about what a splendid time you’re all having when you live out of town (Durham in my case.) Any plans to share it out a bit?

    • Rob says:

      Realistically …. no.

      UNLESS a hotel steps forward and offers to fully fund an event, in which case we’d do it. How else can we jusify 3-4 trips out of London to put it together plus the cost of overnight stays for the three of us? We would lose £1000 otherwise and, more importantly, about 30 hours of staff time.

    • Jonah says:

      Look – unless people self organise regional events won’t happen. Rob can’t be expected to be organising more than 2 events a year AND effectively lose money. How much do we pay to access this site and all the info in the first place? What you do have is the personal choice to attend the main parties if you put in the personal effort. I would have thought that there were enough Scottish members to arrange something for eaxample – and if they didn’t have to organise it maybe Rob or Rhys would pop up to attend. You just can’t expect them to do everything.

  • Dawn says:

    When is the Christmas one?

    • Rob says:

      We’ll tell you in early November.

      Debating whether to re-use Renaissance (but we’d have to cut capacity by 100 as it was too full during the raffle when everyone came inside) or not. Renaissance may also not want us because they can easily sell that space at a premium in December.

      • Gemma says:

        Certainly won’t want ‘us’ when people are now wise to the excessive bar pricing.

        Rob, maybe in future, pre-advise people on typical bar pricing within your chosen venue?

        • The Original David says:

          To be fair, he did say to expect bar prices of a 5* London hotel. Less than £9 for a glass of wine doesn’t seem outrageous in that context…

  • NorthernGuy says:

    Why not hold an event outside London? HFP is a business at the end of the day. The comments shown by you suggest you want everything paid for you. Staff time, pay costs??? Come on!! How much money has HFP earned from referrals such as Curve etc etc. Put some money back towards your loyal readers please.

    • Rob says:

      I am more ambivalent about the money. The time is actually a scarcer resource. That’s why I said we’d do it if it was fully hosted, so we don’t need to make multiple visits.

  • Kevin C says:

    We enjoyed the event. Was great to talk to Emyr and some fellow readers.

    I personally didn’t think the wine was overpriced, taking into account the room, free cake and nibbles and the fact it was a private event.

    • Vino says:

      how much was the wine?

      • The Original David says:

        £8.78 for a medium glass of red

      • Nick Burch says:

        It was about 8-9 quid, plus they were free-pouring (not using measures) and being very stingy with how full they filled the glasses by default. No “fill to” line on the glass either. If you pointed out that your half-full glass didn’t look very much like the 175ml on the bill, they’d add some more, but it felt both dodgy and a rip-off….

  • Matthew says:

    Well I had a nice time. Yes drinks were pricey but it was a lovely location at a 5* hotel so I was happy to buy a few drinks. I don’t feel ripped off at all. Im not loaded either but I pay nearly £8 for a glass of wine at my local pub and it’s setting is nothing like the hotel we were in Monday night. Yes it’s annoying the other bar was cheaper but putting it in perspective, I’ve had so much value out of following this website since 2013, it really isn’t the end of the world. As Rob said, a lot of effort went into making the central bar area smart, the entertainment and the mini desserts. I enjoyed the night and hope to come to another. Thank you Rob and your colleagues for all your efforts with this.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.